Scottish Premiership
Hearts5Inverness CT1

Scottish Premiership: Heart of Midlothian 5-1 Inverness Caledonian Thistle

Don Cowie scored twice and set up two more as Hearts hammered hapless Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

The former Scotland midfielder finished off a fine team move with an early side-footed effort into the far corner.

Then his deep cross was headed over keeper Owain Fon Williams by Conor Sammon for a healthy half-time lead.

Cowie fired in after Sammon returned the compliment and contributed to one of two clinical Sam Nicholson finishes ahead of a Callum Paterson own goal.

It could have been worse for Caley Thistle - who are bottom of the Scottish Premiership without a point after three games - with Arnaud Djoum sending a last-minute drive off the inside of a post.

For Hearts, it was a welcome first league win that not only elevates them to fifth place but lifts some early pressure on head coach Robbie Neilson.

Don leads Hearts to victory

Despite the visitors enjoying an early chance when Josh Meekings headed a Greg Tansey corner kick wide, it was Hearts who enjoyed the better of the first half.

Cowie's opening goal, his first for the Tynecastle club, was the result of a fluent passage of play.

John Souttar's pass was dummied by Cowie to allow it to reach Sammon and the big striker laid it into the path of his captain, who curled a terrific left-foot curler into the far corner.

Cowie's industrious midfield play also caught the eye and he was involved in Hearts' second goal as well - this time as creator.

After mazy play from Tony Watt, the striker released Cowie wide on the right and his cross was perfect for Sammon to leap and head past Fon Williams from six yards.

It took only two minutes of the second half for Cowie to double his tally.

The result of another sweeping move, Watt and Sammon were involved in the build-up and Cowie this time used his right foot to curl the ball beyond the goalkeeper's reach from 18 yards.

Hearts' Tony Watt and Don Cowie celebrate
Tony Watt and Don Cowie were both influential for Hearts against Caley Thistle

Sam the man with late double

Nicholson had already had an appeal for a penalty waved aside by referee Steven McLean after he tumbled under the challenge of Gary Warren, before showing his predatory instincts with two goals in the space of two minutes.

The winger's first was a powerful 20-yard drive after being sent clear by a neat back-heel from debutant striker Bjorn Johnsen. His second came from a low shot after being played in by Cowie.

The thought of a hat-trick was very much in the mind of Cowie, but his manager had other ideas as he took him off to a standing ovation 10 minutes from the end.

Toothless Caley Thistle

The Highlanders had their moments in the first period, but they failed to take the opportunities that came their way.

Warren had a header saved by goalkeeper Jack Hamilton, while Scott Boden had two chances but fluffed his efforts.

Alex Fisher replaced the latter and, within seconds, came close to pulling a goal back for Caley Thistle with an acrobatic overhead kick that Hamilton turned wide before Nicholson's double.

Foran's side did pull a goal back three minutes from the end when Paterson could only flick it into his own net when trying to block Ross Draper's shot, but Hearts could have won by a greater margin.

Post-match reaction

Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson: "When we brought Don in last January, he wasn't fit - he had a little problem with his calf muscles - but over the summer he rested and you can see the quality he has.

"He's got a group of players he works with in training and they all buy into what he does and he definitely is leading by example.

"I thought the performance was really good today. I said that last week, but today the performance was really good and we scored goals, which was really pleasing."

Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager Richie Foran: "I don't think it was a 5-1. We had more chances on goal today than we had in the previous three games, but you've got to put the ball in the net.

"We had too many players underperforming as well. I've got to take a big part of the blame for that as well - I picked the team, I picked the tactics, I picked the training through the week.

"They are top players but I'm not getting the best out of a few of them at the moment, so I'll take the blame for today.

"I know exactly what we need and we've got two players coming in on Monday. I don't want to put their names out there until they sign on the dotted line. We'll probably have another two in before the end of the week as well."

Line-ups

Hearts

  • 1Hamilton
  • 2Paterson
  • 14Souttar
  • 4Rossi
  • 3Rherras
  • 10Sutchuin-Djoum
  • 15CowieSubstituted forMuirheadat 80'minutes
  • 6KitchenBooked at 29minsSubstituted forBuabenat 70'minutes
  • 11Nicholson
  • 32Watt
  • 18SammonSubstituted forJohnsenat 74'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Ozturk
  • 8Buaben
  • 13Noring
  • 19Nowak
  • 20Johnsen
  • 23Muirhead
  • 24Smith

Inverness CT

  • 25Fon Williams
  • 2RavenSubstituted forHornerat 59'minutesBooked at 77mins
  • 5Warren
  • 6Meekings
  • 3TremarcoBooked at 10mins
  • 16Tansey
  • 8Draper
  • 7PolworthBooked at 40mins
  • 11Vigurs
  • 15MulraneyBooked at 12minsSubstituted forDoran Coganat 64'minutes
  • 19BodenSubstituted forFisherat 53'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Esson
  • 10Doran Cogan
  • 14Brown
  • 17Horner
  • 18Fisher
Referee:
Steven McLean
Attendance:
15,880

Match Stats

Home TeamHeartsAway TeamInverness CT
Possession
Home56%
Away44%
Shots
Home18
Away13
Shots on Target
Home10
Away7
Corners
Home6
Away8
Fouls
Home14
Away15

Live Text

Match ends, Heart of Midlothian 5, Inverness CT 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Heart of Midlothian 5, Inverness CT 1.

Attempt blocked. Callum Paterson (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

Arnaud Djoum (Heart of Midlothian) hits the right post with a right footed shot from outside the box.

Attempt missed. John Souttar (Heart of Midlothian) header from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left following a corner.

Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Josh Meekings.

Attempt missed. Tony Watt (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses the top right corner.

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Jack Hamilton.

Attempt saved. Liam Polworth (Inverness CT) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Attempt missed. Gary Warren (Inverness CT) header from the left side of the six yard box misses to the left following a corner.

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by John Souttar.

Attempt blocked. Liam Polworth (Inverness CT) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt missed. Tony Watt (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from outside the box is too high following a set piece situation.

Foul by Iain Vigurs (Inverness CT).

Tony Watt (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Goal!

Goal! Heart of Midlothian 5, Inverness CT 1. Ross Draper (Inverness CT) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Greg Tansey.

Attempt saved. Alex Fisher (Inverness CT) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Josh Meekings (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Arnaud Djoum (Heart of Midlothian).

Attempt missed. Ross Draper (Inverness CT) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Robbie Muirhead replaces Don Cowie.

Goal!

Goal! Heart of Midlothian 5, Inverness CT 0. Sam Nicholson (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Don Cowie.

Goal!

Goal! Heart of Midlothian 4, Inverness CT 0. Sam Nicholson (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Bjorn Johnsen.

Booking

Lewis Horner (Inverness CT) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Lewis Horner (Inverness CT).

Tony Watt (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Bjorn Johnsen (Heart of Midlothian).

Ross Draper (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Bjorn Johnsen replaces Conor Sammon.

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Igor Rossi.

Attempt blocked. Tony Watt (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Owain Fon Williams.

Attempt saved. Don Cowie (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Prince Buaben replaces Perry Kitchen.

Attempt missed. Iain Vigurs (Inverness CT) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

Alex Fisher (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Igor Rossi (Heart of Midlothian).

Foul by Lewis Horner (Inverness CT).

Sam Nicholson (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt saved. Alex Fisher (Inverness CT) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Rangers32105327
2Celtic22006336
3Ross County32016516
4Aberdeen31202115
5Hearts31116334
6Dundee31115414
7St Johnstone311145-14
8Partick Thistle21013213
9Motherwell310245-13
10Kilmarnock310235-23
11Hamilton302134-12
12Inverness CT3003310-70
View full Scottish Premiership table

Top Stories